Since Iʼm not doing the play this quarter, Iʼve started attending KPC (Kalamazoo Poetry Collective), a student organization that meets in the library once a week to write, workshop and discuss poetry. Poetry has never been a huge part of my life, but I feel obligated to experiment with some new passions in order to fill all these free evenings. It became one of the most relaxing and therapeutic parts of my week, sitting in the small Writing Center Room with a group of cool students. After we spend about fifteen minutes writing our short pieces, we go around the room snapping and humming our appreciation.
One day, Bridgett, one of the leaders of KPC informed us of a performing opportunity. “The featured poet at the FIRE first-Friday Open Mic dropped out and we need a replacement. Do any of you have 30 to 45 minutes of poetry you want to share on a Friday night? You get paid.” After a dramatic fifteen second pause of people looking down at the floor and nervously clicking their pens, I raised my hand and timidly asked if I needed to have any experience. “No,” Bridgett said, “You wanna do it?” I said yes, deciding that it would be a fun challenge and I wasn’t doing the play, so I had all the time in the world. “Okay great, itʼs next Friday, just perform your 30 to 45 minutes of work and Iʼll keep in touch. “It wasnʼt until after the KPC meeting where I had the sudden realization that I didnʼt have 30 to 45 minutes of poetry to read. At most, I had fifteen. It was fine, I thought, I have a week to write all the poetry I needed for my performance.
Fast forward to the Thursday night; twenty-four hours until my performance. I still donʼt have enough poetry. I locked my self in my room and began frantically writing about anything. I realized that perhaps I overestimated my free time. Just because Iʼm engaging as intensely in theater, doesnʼt mean that I can overload my schedule with everything else. That didnʼt matter now though. I needed to keep writing, keep rehearsing and keep bearing my soul!
I somehow manage to pull it off last night to an audience of mostly my friends in FIREʼs intimate venue. I donʼt think Iʼve ever worked harder for $62.25 in my life. At some point I started doing a standup comedy routine, with most of my pieces inspiring laughter instead of snaps.